Los Angeles County sheriff releases video of fatal shooting of woman who reported domestic violence

featured image

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department released body camera footage on Friday night showing a fatal shooting of a 27-year-old Black woman who had called to report domestic violence in early December.

Niani Finlayson called authorities just after 6 p.m. on the Dec. 4 to report a man who would not get out of her house or leave her alone, according to audio of her 911 call released by the department.

Officers responded to the apartment complex in Lancaster, a city about 44 miles (71 kilometers) north of Los Angeles, and shot Finlayson less than a minute after she opened the door, the video footage shows.

Finlayson was holding an object in one hand that deputies identified as a knife. She grabbed onto the man with her other hand and a deputy shot her within seconds, the video shows.

The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office and the sheriff’s department will conduct investigations to determine whether the use of force was appropriate.

“Any time a life is lost, regardless of the circumstances, is a difficult time for everyone involved,” Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said in a statement reported by the Los Angeles Times. “The department released the body-worn camera footage ahead of the legal time frame to demonstrate our commitment to transparency and the visual representation of the facts in this case.”

Finlayson’s family, including her parents and two daughters, filed a government claim Dec. 20 indicating they intend to seek $30 million in damages. The claim is the precursor to filing a lawsuit.

The claim, filed by attorney Bradley Gage, says Finlayson was sitting on the ground when deputies shot at her from behind a glass door, allegations that appear to be contradicted by the video footage.

Gage did not immediately respond to a voicemail left by The Associated Press requesting comment on the release of the video footage. He told the Los Angeles Times that deputies could have instead used a stun gun or pepper spray to deescalate the situation.

“They took a situation that was volatile, but not deadly, and they turned it into a deadly situation with these tactics,” he said.

The claim says Finlayson was shot in front of her 9-year-old daughter. The video footage shows a girl in the footage telling officers what sounds like “he pushed me” or “he punched me.”

The sheriff’s department also released audio from the 911 call in which a woman identified by authorities as Finlayson can be heard saying, “This man, he won’t get out of my house,” and “He will not leave me alone.” She can be heard screaming at someone to get off of her.

The dispatcher is heard on the call telling her to walk away to a quieter spot. Authorities described the man as Finlayson’s boyfriend, but she can not be heard identifying him that way in the audio.

Body camera footage shows three deputies outside of the apartment building. One deputy is seen knocking on the door and another says “they’re in the back room, but they’re not answering.”

Yelling can be heard from inside the apartment unit. A deputy kicks the door several times before a woman authorities identified as Finlayson opens it and starts to yell, saying, “I’m gonna stab him.”

Deputies begin entering the unit and three people can be seen inside.

A girl inside the apartment says what sounds like “he pushed me” or “he punched me.”

Deputies then round the corner into the apartment and point guns at Finlayson and a man standing on the opposite side of the room. She can be seen holding the man with one hand. One deputy can be heard saying, “Put that down.”

Within seconds, a deputy fires several shots and Finlayson falls to the ground.

The sheriff’s department says Finlayson held a kitchen knife after she opened the door. Body camera footage shows her holding an object in the doorway. In a still shot from the body camera footage, Finlayson is seen holding the object authorities identified as a kitchen knife in one hand while grabbing the man with the other hand.

Immediately after the shooting, the man Finlayson grabbed is heard yelling, “No,” and “Why did you shoot?”

The department identified the deputy who shot Finlayson as Ty Shelton.

Source link

Share on Google Plus
    Blogger Comment
    Facebook Comment

0 Comments :

Post a Comment